Events > The Future of CALL: Online Discussion

Special guest: Stephen Bax
Moderator: Sophie Ioannou-Georgiou, Acting Discussion Forum Moderator

Embarking on a discussion on 'The future of CALL"

From: "Sophie and Yiannis" <>
Date: Mon Jan 31, 2005  7:15 pm
Subject: embarking on a discussion on 'The future of CALL"

Hi to everyone

Today we embark on our week-long discussion on 'The Future of CALL', a topic which is of great interest to all.

I hope this will be a fruitful discussion during which we will all share thoughts and perhaps manage to agree on an assessment of the present situation and a vision of the future.

Dr. Stephen Bax will be fielding the discussion.Dr. Stephen Bax started in ELT by working in a secondary school in Sudan, and then moving on to work in Algeria and Iraq in the 1980s, where he worked in language teaching and as an Arabic-English translator. He went to do his MSc in Edinburgh before moving to lecture at Canterbury Christ Church University College.

In Canterbury he works mainly on the MA TESOL programme, and supervising PhD students, mostly in the areas of ICT in Education, Teacher Development, Discourse and Sociolinguistics. His PhD dissertation was on intertxtuality in reading. He continues to travel widely, lecturing and teaching in these areas, and has recently worked in Mexico, Tunisia, Jordan and Yemen.

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Welcome to Stephen Bax

From: "Sophie and Yiannis" <>
Date: Tue Feb 1, 2005  7:01 pm
Subject: "The Future of CALL"

I would like to welcome Stephen Bax to our discussion on "The Future of CALL" and thank him for accepting our invitation.

His article on this topic is available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:

Another interesting bit of reading is the Warschauer & Healey article also available on the website.

Both articles try to look back at the past, take stock and look forward to the future. I'm sure you'll find them an interesting read.

What do you hope the future will bring for CALL?

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say


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The Future of CALL: Summary of the online discussion

From: "Sophie and Yiannis" <>
Date: Wed Feb 9, 2005 7:45 am
Subject: Future of CALL – summary

I would like to thank Stephen Bax and *all* of you for your contribution to the discussion "The Future of CALL".

Many people have said that it was a very busy week for them and it was difficult for them to contribute as much as they would like, so an even bigger thanks for making it happen.

It was an opportunity to get a glimpse of CALL around the world. We've heard from colleagues in Germany, Russia, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand, China, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, the US, Turkey and Hungary (please let me know if there's a country I didn't mention).

In trying to decide what the future of CALL is, we defined our present situations and we found that CALL varies greatly from country to country or even from school to school.

We have colleagues in the first stages of CALL implementation, we have colleagues who are instilling change and planting the roots of CALL by training the future teachers in areas where schools are still waiting for CALL to arrive and we have colleagues that are already moving to a new stage like Patricia who works with mobile phones.

In trying to move forward, we agreed that we do not disregard the past. Everything has its place and there are uses for 'Restricted CALL', 'Open CALL' and 'Integrated CALL'.

We saw a wide variety of teacher perspectives towards CALL and we discussed normalisation and - I believe - most of us accepted it as the future stage or what we are aiming at in the relatively near future (we had glimpses of the more distant future, too - thanks Peter). For the purposes of this discussion, we adopted Stephen Bax's definition of normalisation:

"an integral part of learning and teaching".

Computers will be

"... an integral part of every lesson, like a pen or a book. Teachers and students will use them without fear or inhibition, and equally without an exaggerated respect for what they can do. They will not be the centre of any lesson but they will play a part in almost all. They will be completely integrated into all other aspects of classroom life, alongside coursebooks, teachers and notepads. They will almost go unnoticed."

In trying to identify factors which could help us towards normalisation of CALL, we arrived at the following:

We saw these factors within the wider framework of:

Finally, we all seem to agree that there is still a long way to go - for all of us. But most of us sound persistent and optimistic. If I quote Stephen on seeing normalisation "as a local and patchy process", I think we are all busily working in smoothing out our own little patch. A few years from now, it would be great to meet again and have another look at our CALL Quilt.

Thanks everyone
Keep up the good work!


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